Dedicated Airbnb users know that there are plenty of high-end listings on the site, if you sort through enough shared rooms. "Sorting through," though, is a distinctly hoi polloi-style activity — and Airbnb knows that high-spending travelers want to do as little of it as possible. Ergo Airbnb's high-end version of itself, purportedly coming soon to an internet browser near you.
According to Bloomberg, the company is "expected to launch as a pilot with a select group of hosts." Each property elevated to the program, currently called Select, would be individually chosen, inspected and photographed; the hosts of those properties would be expected to offer hotel-level amenities.
Unsurprisingly, this is part of a company-wide effort to bolster ammunition against hoteliers for travelers who like Airbnb's variety and flexibility — one of Airbnb's biggest strengths is users' ability to choose, say, that specific block over "downtown" — but want the peace of mind of a hotel. Guaranteeing concierge-level service could convince high-spending guests to trade a couple nights at the Four Seasons for a luxe private apartment.
This sounds to us like great news for guests with appropriate resources, and for hosts who don't mind meeting the raised expectations Select is sure to promote.